Cops Court and Coffee will be breaking down various laws, safety issues, and many more topics in lay-mans terms.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What Is Police Brutality

cops court and coffee brutality

 Some may ask themselves...what is police brutality? Though police are legally allowed to use force if necessary, it should not extend to unreasonable force. Police brutality is commonly defined as the use of excessive force. This is not restricted only to physical attacks, but may include: Physical injury False arrest Verbal attacks Physical intimidation Psychological manipulation Sexual abuse Although sexual abuse is not always grouped with police brutality, it can be defined as the use of excessive measures against a detainee.

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Why does it happen?

Police brutality may be contributed to by a number of causes. In the past, racial profiling and discrimination frequently caused police brutality. But more recently studies show that perceived expectations or reactions to current events, such as the attacks on September 11, 2001, may prompt the use of excessive force by police officers. Though various causes can contribute to police brutality, excessive force against a detainee or person under arrest is never excusable.

Could I be a vicim?

Any individual may be the victim of police brutality, regardless of age, gender, race or background. In the time following the 9/11 attacks, a higher portion of police brutality was aimed at individuals of middle-eastern or Islamic background. Other targeted groups may be: African Americans Hispanic Americans Homosexuals Religious extremists Younger men

How can I protect myself?

The best defense is to stay clear of situations where the police may become involved. However, if you find yourself in an escalated situation where an officer is using excessive force, you should not try to retaliate. Retaliation will not only make the situation worse, but you may now be subject to charges of resisting arrest and assault against an officer. The best option for you is to comply and allow the officer or officers to take you into custody. If you are injured, you should be given medical attention in a timely manner. After the situation is calm, you should contact an attorney at your earliest opportunity and make notes on as many details as you can remember about the occurrence. Keeping a record of what happened may be useful if your case goes to court.

Is police brutality common in my neighborhood?

Unfortunately, police officers may use excessive force anywhere. Although different causes of police brutality seem to be more common in some areas than others, it is impossible to know what may prompt it or who may be the victim. One estimate lists the states which see the most cases of police misconduct as California, New York, Florida and Texas.

What laws protect me against police brutality?

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S Constitution are the primary standard for protecting against police brutality. The Fifth Amendment states that a person cannot be forced to act as a witness against himself, or be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process. This means an officer cannot force an individual to commit to a crime, nor can an individual be incarcerated without due process. The fourteenth amendment adds that no person under the jurisdiction of the United States can be deprived of the protection of the law.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sons Of Ryan New York - Jets Tee Shirt

***Limited-Edition Sons Of Ryan Tees / Hoodies***

Do you love the JETS?

Introducing: “Sons Of Ryan New York” shirts are now available!

WARNING: Limited time only. So order now!

This is a great item for any football fan.

Normally $29 – Instant  $10 off so you can buy this collectors item for only $19.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Limited Edition Sturgis Bike Week Shirts

The City of Sturgis welcomes all biker enthusiasts to be a part of the “World Famous” Sturgis Rally. So why not get a limited edition shirt before you go.
This shirt will be a great way to show your enthusiasm for the event and will be a hit with all bikers!
Hanes Tagless Tee – $20.00

Saturday, June 14, 2014

LA Kings Are The 2014 Stanley Cup Champs

Congrats to the LA Kings on their victory against the New York Rangers. The series was definitely in the hands of the Kings from the start. Their fans stood behind them the entire way. I know that the fans will be sporting this their 2014 Stanley Cup Championship Shirts with pride! Again great job by the LA Kings!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Who Knew Water Could Be Smart


Friday, June 6, 2014

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Latest News

This is the Latest News page from Cops Court and Coffee. Click here for the latest news!

Monday, June 2, 2014

How To Do A Criminal Background Check

How to Do a Criminal Background Check

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Whether you are about to rent out your apartment, are in the process of recruiting new staff for your office, or planning to hire a new babysitter, you might want to perform a criminal background check to make sure you're getting the best people for the job.


As an Employer or Landlord
  1. Understand the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA.) This act regulates who can access a person’s consumer report and the collection of that information. Consumer reports include criminal records, as well as credit and employment history. It was passed in order to ensure that the files held by consumer reporting agencies were accurate and fair. It also states that anyone who wants to access a person’s reports must have a valid reason for doing so. As an employer, the easiest and legally safest way to do a criminal background check is to go through a Consumer Reporting Agency.[1]
    • The FCRA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. The FCRA allows CRA to report arrests that go back seven years, but some states do not allow employers to consider arrests that didn’t result in a conviction.
  2. Know what a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) is. CRAs are the agencies that collect background information on people and create ‘consumer reports’ which they sell to businesses (like yours) under the regulations of the FCRA. Generally, CRAs cannot put arrests that didn’t result in a conviction in their reports.[2]
    • CRAs generally maintain databases that compile information found through the sources that they have paid to gain access to. CRAs will maintain databases that can be based on geographic location, the type of information listed (arrests, convictions, time spent in prison, etc.), the type of sources used (records from law enforcement agencies, sex offender registries, etc.), or specific information (like in-store theft reports, which are generally supplied to retail stores.)
  3. Know what you need to do before you hire a CRA.[3]
    • Tell the employee or applicant that you might use information in their consumer report to make a decision about their employment status. You have to write this information down on its own page (i.e. it cannot be contained in an application--it has to stand alone on a separate page.) If you want to be able to able to check up on the person’s reports throughout the time that they work for you, that should also be stated in the document.
    • Get written permission from the person you want to investigate. Once you have told them you might use info listed in their consumer report, you have to get their written permission to use it. This can be placed on the document informing the person of your desire to use their consumer report.
    • Certify that you did the steps listed above with the CRA that you hire. You will need to certify that you complied with FCRA regulations by informing the person of your wish to use his/her report and obtaining the person’s signature. You will also have to certify that you will not break any discrimination laws based on the information in the person’s consumer report.
  4. Hire a CRA. When you decide that your company wants to hire a CRA, you will need to consider a few things to determine whether the CRA you want to hire is reputable enough. Above all other things to be considered, you must be sure that the CRA complies with FCRA regulations. If they do not, your company could get in legal trouble if you make employment decisions based on the info the CRA provides you.[4]
    • Find out if the CRA is a member of the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). This is the best known and most respected association in the industry.
    • Does the CRA have a business license and can it provide you with references? Is the company insured? If the answer is no to either of these questions, you may want hire a different CRA, as you cannot be sure that this company is reliable.
  5. Know what you need to do if the report contains negative information. If a consumer report contains information that makes you think you do not want to employ that person, you will have to go through a couple of steps in order to keep within FCRA regulations. You must[5]:
    • Give the person a copy of his/her consumer report. Doing this allows the person to review the report and make sure that the information contained in it is correct.
    • Give the person a copy of the “Summary of Your Rights under the FCRA” paper that the CRA should have given you when you hired them.
  6. Use other methods to learn about a person’s criminal record. Companies also have the option of running their own criminal record checks by going through specific government channels. These include[6]:
    • Using the Interstate Identification Index (III). The III is the FBI criminal records list that combines state, federal and international criminal records. However, this can only be accessed by the government and certain employers that have been mandated by the state to get criminal background checks (such as employers who work in daycare, securities, nuclear energy, etc.).
    • Checking watch lists, registries, and court records. Some crimes get the person who commit them added to a list of people who have committed similar crimes (such as sex offenders or people with outstanding warrants). These lists must be made public by the government for them to be considered valid sources of information.
    • Accessing law enforcement records. Some police departments will allow the public access to their records.
    • Looking at state criminal records. Most states keep their own lists of criminal records that can generally be accessed by the public. Most states will allow employers to access these records for a small fee.
As a Private Citizen
  1. Visit your state government's website. They are listed under many different titles, and are sometimes served by the state government, and sometimes by the state police. An effective Google search phrase is "obtain a criminal history in [your state]." Look for the URLs that end with ".gov" for the most relevant results.
    • Some states will have online searches available, while some will require you to fill out and mail in a form. These services generally require you to pay a fee.
  2. Search court records. Most criminal records can be accessed by private citizens at a county, state and federal level. The Federal court system has online records that can be accessed on the ‘Public Access to Court Electronic Records or Case Management/Electronic Case Files’ page (simply type that into your search browser.) County courts will often require you to go to the court to view the files, but some of them have records online.[7]
  3. Use a commercial people-search service. Many of the "people finder" services will include a public-records criminal background check, as well as a lot of other relevant information, although the criminal background check might require you to pay a small fee. While their prices can be higher, you may end up with a more complete picture than a criminal background check alone. Check the reputability of the business by finding their Better Business Bureau rating and how long they have been in business.[8]
    • Compare the prices of different “people finder” services to make sure you are not getting scammed. Type the company’s name into a search engine along with the word ‘scam’ and see if any results pop up showing that the company is trying to rip you off.
    • Use a criminal background check service. Like the more generic people-search services, they do a search online for a small fee. However, they focus specifically on criminal background checks from a variety of official sources.
  4. Use Google. Searching for a person on Google can have mixed results, especially if the person you're searching for is named "John Smith." In that case you would want to narrow it down by city, state, and any other unique identifier you might have—driver's license, social security number, etc. If the person has a more unique name, such as Melvyn Snipburger, you're pretty much guaranteed unique results. Most people will lie between the two extremes.
    • You may find newspaper or recorded clips about the person if a crime was recorded at some point.
    • This is a very good tool for carrying out a nationwide criminal background check, as it is quite possible for the subject to have committed a crime outside of the state you live in.
  5. Visit your county courthouse. They will have public records available that you can search. The information is generally free, though limited to the county or city where you are searching.
  6. Search social media for a clue into this person’s past. Try to find the person on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. Do some old fashion ‘cyber-stalking’--look at their pictures, posts, etc. to see if you can find anything about their past. While you might not find proof of a criminal past, you may be able to build a more developed picture of the person that will help you in your research.
    • You can also use sites that compile information found on every social media platform that the person you are looking into uses. These types of institutions include places like PeekYou and White Pages Neighbors.[9]
  7. Hire a private investigator. A private investigator is more than likely going to be the most expensive option--but also most likely the most accurate medium to go through if you don’t want to do the research yourself. Private investigators specialize in finding things out by combining all the possible methods, as well as using their own experience and intuition to ferret out the truth about somebody. They can also be expensive and cannot necessarily accommodate all budgets, especially if multiple background checks need to be carried out.


  • Criminal background checks are generally mandated by federal law for applicants who will work in childcare, hospitals, disability centers, and nursing homes. This is in response to growing reports of child violence, including sexual assault, kidnapping, and molestation.


  • If you are uncertain of whether or not you are doing everything you can to remain within FCRA regulations, you may wish to consult with a consultant or government official.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations










Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Do a Criminal Background Check. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Although I have never personally had to deal with a carjacking victim, a few of my fellow officers have. Regrettably, there are many unsuspecting drivers every year who experience the frightening and sometimes deadly occurrence of carjacking. This violating crime involves the theft of a car while a person is still in the vehicle. The carjacker will usually have some type of weapon to threaten and force the driver out of the car.

Carjacking is an offense that can take place at any time, any location, and by any person or group. The first step towards prevention is to get familiar with the most important threats of carjacking. Usually, intersections during nighttime traffic and parking lots are the most frequent places where carjacking takes place. Luxury cars and SUVs are some of the most popular targets for carjackers. These vehicles receive a higher value when these vehicles are sold or sent to a "chop shop" for parts. However, any driver of any car has the possibility to become carjacked, as some criminals are simply looking for a night out on the town.

But there are some things that you can do to help prevent such an occurrence from happening.

  • It is important to remember that carjackers thrive on surprising their victims and taking advantage of those who are not attentive and alert at all times. There are countless victims who report that they were unaware of the carjacker's presence until they appeared at their car window or door. In order to prevent carjacking of your vehicle, it is suggested to exercise a high level of common sense.
  • When, where, and how you park is an important part of preventing a carjacking. You should try and park in a well lit location when planning on leaving a location after dark. This practice ultimately increases the level of awareness for a driver. Additionally, isolated parking spaces and spots situated close to a wall, tall bushes, or trees should be avoided. It is better for women who drive alone to park in an attended garage or to use valet services.
  • Before walking into a car garage or parking lot, assess your surroundings and pay attention to people sitting in their vehicles. If a stranger approaches you, change directions right away and go towards a busy area.
  • When approaching your vehicle, it is suggested to glance under, around, and inside of the car. If you need to load packages into your car, make sure not to turn your back. When it is safe, open the door, enter quickly, and lock the doors. Lingering in a parking lot only places you in more danger for being a target for carjackers, so immediately start your car and drive away.
  • When driving in the city, keep the doors locked and the windows rolled up. If you must stop in traffic, make sure to leave room to maneuver your vehicle and escape if a threat should arise.
  • If you ever are faced with a carjacker and you cannot safely get away, never fall into the trap of becoming a kidnapping victim. It is suggested to drop your car keys, followed by running and screaming for help.
Some people equip their vehicle with self-defense weapons, such as personal alarms, stun guns, and pepper spray to increase their level of safety while driving. Self-defense items should be used to protect your well-being and not defend your car. If you are ever approached by a carjacker, it is recommended to never resist the surrender of your vehicle. When carjackers demand your keys or money, you should comply without resistance. In the end, it all comes down to what is more important to you.

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